Star Alliance member Air New Zealand will launch non-stop service between Auckland and Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport, a major hub for alliance partner United Airlines, in mid-December.

United Airlines has taken delivery of a new Boeing 737-900ER with a big stripe across its rear fuselage painted in two shades of purple. The Boeing 737-900ER, which is registered N66848, has a special livery commemorating a decade of United Airlines supporting the charity ‘March of Dimes’.

The aircraft, emblazoned with an artist’s rendition of the Missouri state flag, was unveiled at a ceremony on April 15 at the Kansas City International Airport location of aircraft-maintenance company Aviation Technical Services, with which Southwest has partnered for more than 35 years.